From School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Boris is an energetic character who longs for adventure, just like those his parents had before they turned their old bus into a house. One day they take him on an adventure of his own. Disappointed at first that it's only to another part of their town, he soon realizes that adventures can happen anywhere-even in his own backyard. This is a fun easy reader book with great full-color cartoons, brief text in large print, and likable characters. A bonus page gives instructions for making a compass, leading to a great interactive experience. Stranger Things has a bit more text and fewer illustrations. Ed feels that he does not have any interesting traits or talents; he is simply an extremely normal boy. However, he has no idea just what is in store for him when he finds a coin that says "strange, stranger." Soon everything is erupting into chaos, from his sister's food train turning into an actual moving train at the dinner table to a friend being able to turn his head completely around. Are these strange happenings trying to send Ed a message? This is a silly book that will pull kids in with the goofy plot and the fun black-and-white illustrations. The truly strange thing about this book is that it references Albert Camus's The Stranger, an odd choice for this audience. These books should be considered for larger libraries wanting to enhance their easy-reader collections.-Elizabeth Swistock, Orange County Public Library, VAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Meet Boris, an anthropomorphized warthog who dreams of adventure. He longs to travel and perform acts of derring-do, just like Captain Clive, the hero of his favorite book. He lives in a bus with his parents in Greater Hogg Bay, but the bus never goes anywhere, and neither does Boris. Until one day, it does. Part of Scholastic’s new Branches line, this aims to fill the gap between leveled readers and chapter books by combining elements of the two formats, with heavily illustrated pages supporting a simple and direct plot. There is even a comic-book element, as all dialogue is presented in speech bubbles. Readers won’t be aware that they are being gently guided between reading levels, but they will certainly enjoy this tale of wanderlust. Boris is a relatable fellow, and the disconnect between his idea of adventure and his parents’ is amusingly communicated by the illustrations. Look for three more Boris books, which are Australian imports, to be published in the U.S. by the end of the year. Grades K-2. --Kara Dean
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